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From the ASTDA President

STDPO News: on October 09, 2019 at 01:11:12 PM


August 21, 2019 

Greetings ASTDA Members! 


It has been a year since I took office as President and there are many important things going on with ASTDA that I want to share with you. As you are no doubt aware, there have been many changes in our working environment over the past year some of which are positive (e.g. additional funding support as a result of the End HIV Initiative) and some of which are not (e.g. increasing numbers of state laws that are harmful to women’s sexual & reproductive health). It is with attention to this context that our Association has developed a Mission Statement, revised our Objectives and clarified our core values in terms of commitments that we as an association can make to the field. I share them with you here and encourage you to go to the website www.ASTDA.org (if you are not already reading this on the website!) 

ASTDA’s Mission is to foster scientific knowledge, develop leadership and champion practice in the field of sexually transmitted infections. 

ASTDA’s Objectives are to: 

 To control, prevent, and ultimately eradicate sexually transmitted infections (STI) 

 To support research in all aspects of STI including medical, epidemiologic, laboratory, social and behavioral studies 

 To recognize outstanding contributions in STI control and prevention 

 To disseminate authoritative information concerning STI 

 To develop the current and future generations of STI professionals 

Words Matter: From the ASTDA President

STDPO News: on December 20, 2017 at 04:49:57 PM
The words purportedly banned last week from the budget processes affecting the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are ones that should capture the attention of every ASTDA member.*  Yesterday, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald - CDC Director - issued a statement noting CDC's ongoing commitment "...to our public health mission as a science- and evidence-based institution."

Words matter, but the protection of an institution committed to public health as a human right and based in social justice must be enacted as well as spoken, and CDC cannot stand alone in this commitment. This year has seen a steady abrogation of gender, sexual, and reproductive health services available to the full diversity of the peoples of the United States. In many instances, this suppression of public health is accompanied by a rhetoric of violence - implied and explicit - that leaves little to the imagination of worse to come. It is increasingly clear that inaction is a form of complicity with a willful public health disaster.
See the full letter below: 
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STDPO at 10

STDPO News: on November 01, 2017 at 06:56:12 PM

A Word From the Editor

STDPO at 10

Ten years ago today, we launched STD Prevention Online (STDPO): a networking site for STD professionals that aimed to form a web-based bridge between the different disciplines that comprise the STD workforce: basic scientists, epidemiologists, clinicians, disease intervention specialists, and other public health workers.

The site was initially developed by the Denver Public Health Department and Adelson Consulting, funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After the grant ended in 2009, the site was financially supported by the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association (ASTDA) until 2012.  Currently, STDPO is maintained by Rietmeijer Consulting with in-kind contributions from ASTDA and the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA). Specifically, I like to mention Zoltan Borsodi, ASHA’s webmaster who has been very helpful in trouble-shooting the site over the past few years.

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ASTDA in the Trump Era

STDPO News: on April 21, 2017 at 03:58:52 PM

The new American administration led by Donald Trump and Michael Pence promises changes likely detrimental to the public health infrastructure addressing sexually transmitted diseases, and to the funding streams that support research on prevention, treatment, and education. Rollback of expanded health access, insecurity among immigrant populations, loss of legal protections for sexual and gender minorities, and aggressive restrictions on sexual/reproductive health services are just the most general areas that affect STD at the intersections of public health, science, and clinical services. Some states will mirror policies endorsed at the Federal level. However, some states may maintain or even expand programs related to STD and other sexual/reproductive health services. This will create havens of safety for residents of those states but exacerbate regional health inequities that are long-standing attributes of STD in the United States.

The challenges to the ASTDA mission brought by the broad political changes in the United States means that our organization can ill afford passivity and silence. In the short term, we will be working to increase the engagement of our membership in the state and federal issues that affect the ASTDA mission. We are already signing on to advocacy letters to Congress and other administration officials. We are enhancing partnerships with organizations such as the American Sexual Health Association and the National Coalition of STD Directors. These partnerships can multiply the reach and effectiveness of our efforts. We have expanded ASTDA’s regional perspective to include a member of IUSTI Canada on our Executive Committee, and have extended our global commitment through greater engagement in IUSTI. After all, the repeated lessons of global HIV, gonococcal resistance, and zika (among many others) teach us that walls or national boundaries are ineffective barriers to STD.

In the longer term, ASTDA will work toward more effective use of its extensive scientific and clinical expertise in defense of critical public health, research, and clinical infrastructure. We will also seek opportunities for
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Position Announcement: Medical Director of Detroit Public Health STD/HIV Control Program

STDPO News: on March 10, 2015 at 12:44:59 PM

Robertson family patriarch takes the familiar and all too easy approach of blaming STDs on immorality. Here’s why Phil’s wrong.

A colleague shared an MSNBC article about a CNS News story where Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson weighs in on what he sees as the root cause driving sexually transmitted diseases: a lack of biblically-correct sex!

Let’s simply allow the man to lay it all out for you, er, that is to put it in his own words. Referring to an STD-free, monogamous heterosexual couple he opined
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STD Journal Editor's Pick of the Month

STDPO News: on April 30, 2014 at 09:43:52 AM

Beau Gratzer 

Evaluation of Diagnostic Serological Results in Cases of Suspected Primary Syphilis Infection

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STD Editor Pick of the Month

STDPO News: on April 03, 2014 at 05:55:30 PM

Discrepancies Between HIV Prevention Communication Attitudes and Actual Conversations About HIV Testing Within Social and Sexual Networks of African American Men Who Have Sex With Men

Tobin, Karin Elizabeth PhD*; Yang, Cui PhD*; Sun, Christina MPH*; Spikes, Pilgrim PhD; Latkin, Carl Asher PhD*


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Promoting communication among African American men who have sex with men (AA MSM) and their social networks about HIV testing is an avenue for altering HIV prevention social norms. This study examined the attitudes of AA MSM on talking with peers about HIV testing and characteristics of their network members with whom they have these conversations.


Data came from a cross-sectional survey of 226 AA MSM who were 18 years or older and self-reported sex with another male in the prior 90 days. Participants completed an inventory to characterize network members with whom they had conversations about HIV testing and HIV status.


Most of the sample reported that it was important/very important to talk to male
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STD Journal Editor's Pick of the Week: Genital Warts among U.S. STD Clinic Patients

STDPO News: on January 22, 2014 at 03:38:14 AM

Full article available at this link. 

Prevalence of Genital Warts Among Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic Patients—Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Network, United States, January 2010 to December 2011

Llata, Eloisa MD*; Stenger, Mark MA*; Bernstein, Kyle PhD; Guerry, Sarah MD; Kerani, Roxanne PhD§; Pugsley, River MPH; Pathela, Preeti PhD; Tabidze, Irina MD MPH**; Weinstock, Hillard MD MPH*


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A quadrivalent vaccine that prevents genital warts (GWs) has been recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for women since 2007 and for men since 2011. National estimates of GW burden in sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic settings are useful to provide a baseline assessment
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STD Journal Pick of the Week

STDPO News: on December 12, 2013 at 03:01:56 PM

The December issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases features the ASTDA Distinguished Career Award speech by Dr. Jonathan Zenilman, delivered at the STI & AIDS World Congress on Wednesday july 17th in Vienna, Austria, entitled: The Legacy of Sexually Transmitted Disease Research: Lessons From Guatemala and Dr Thomas Parran. The open access article is available at this link. 



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